Live: Today's cases, amid new wastewater detection, Omicron investigation

Covid has been detected in wastewater in Tairāwhiti despite no cases in the region as a Palmerston North supermarket becomes the latest potential exposure site for an assumed Omicron case.

The Ministry of Health is set to release the latest case numbers in a statement at 1pm today.

It is understood the Ministry will also announce changes to self-isolation.

Yesterday there were 39 new cases in the community and 46 cases of Covid-19 were detected at the border.

There were 21 people in hospital with just one in an intensive care unit.

This morning Hauora Tairāwhiti confirmed a wastewater sample taken in the region on Monday had tested positive for Covid-19.

Health officials said there were currently no confirmed cases of the infection in Tairāwhiti.

Another routine sample was being tested that was taken on Tuesday. Results for that sample were expected today.

The positive result might indicate there was a person or people in the community who had an active Covid-19 infection, said officials.

It was announced a person in Palmerston North tested positive for the virus and is assumed to have contracted the highly-contagious Omicron variant.

The infected person had been staying at a Christchurch MIQ facility at the same time as known cases but had left after returning five negative tests. Genomic testing was underway to see if there were links to any of those cases and determine the source of the infection.

At least a dozen exposure sites have been linked to this case including one high-risk location, a cafe where the person spent time on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, three cases of Omicron have been confirmed in Auckland - with a fourth suspected in a household contact.

Yesterday at a press conference from Labour's retreat caucus in New Plymouth, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that there would not be lockdowns when Omicron got into the community.

According to latest modelling almost 2000 Omicron cases a day - 10 times the Delta peak - are expected in the Auckland region in just six weeks in the event of an outbreak.

As the country prepares for the highly transmissible variant to enter the community, restrictions eased this morning in Northland.

The region moved into the orange setting alongside the rest of the country.

"We won't be able to stop Omicron entering the community, but we can use tools to try and slow it down. We need to be on guard, and ready so that is why the country will remain at orange on an Omicron preparedness setting," said Ardern.

Three more cases of Covid-19 in Hastings

Hawke's Bay now has a total of nine Covid-19 cases, with three more positive cases associated with a Hastings cluster now identified.

All three new cases are linked to the Hastings cluster, taking that cluster, which began when a positive case attended two fitness classes at a local church, to eight.

The ninth case was reported yesterday and is likely to have contracted Covid-19 out of the region.

Two of the new cases will be reported in the Ministry of Health's case figures today, with the third new case to be reported in tomorrow's figures, as it missed the daily reporting cut off.

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